AE Staff

Alicia Lark Fuss

Director of Arts Education or 615-253-8914

Alicia Fuss joined the Tennessee Arts Commission in December 2020. In her role, she develops and leads grants, programs, and special initiatives associated with Arts Education to prepare students of all ages for success in school, career, and life.

Prior to joining the Commission, Alicia worked for 11 years at Nashville Children’s Theatre. As Director of Education, she was responsible for guiding the Drama School’s robust lineup of camps and classes, training and supporting the roster of teaching artists, and designing programs to engage schools, families, and community organizations in NCT’s work onstage and off. Alicia has also taught extensively as an adjunct instructor and guest director at Belmont and Lipscomb Universities, sharing her love of Theatre for Young Audiences and Arts Education with pre-service teachers and young adult artists.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Florida State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida.


Michelle Sipes

Arts Learning Specialist or 615-532-5934

Michelle Sipes joined the Tennessee Arts Commission in December 2020. Working with the Director of Arts Education, Michelle coordinates arts learning programs and resources geared toward students and teaching artists including Poetry Out Loud, Student Ticket Subsidy, and the Teaching Artist Roster.

Before joining the Commission, Michelle worked as a grant writer for the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH where she secured funds for the center’s diverse suite of contemporary arts programming and arts education initiatives. Additionally, she served the Wexner Center as a teaching artist in two of their Learning and Public Practice programs Pages: An Arts, Literacy, and Writing Program and WorldView: Cultural Intersections with Contemporary Art. Prior to that, Michelle performed, toured, choreographed, and taught as a company member for 5 seasons with Inlet Dance Theatre in Cleveland, OH. She also served as the company’s Administrative Liaison for the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion grant program.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Belhaven University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the Ohio State University.